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an historic agreement found to revise the Constitution inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet

The Constitution dates back thirty years. The objective of this agreement is to appease the violent social crisis that has shaken the country for almost a month. The Chileans will be called to vote at the polls on this change in April 2020.

A historic agreement. The political parties in Chile managed to agree on Friday, November 15, in Parliament, to hold a referendum in April 2020 to revise the Constitution inherited thirty years ago from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The objective is to try to appease the violent social crisis that has shaken the country for nearly a month, since the revision of the Constitution is prominent in the claims of protesters, who have been protesting since October 18th. The demonstrations, which left 22 dead and more than 2,000 wounded, remain massive.

The referendum will include two questions: one on the revision or not of the Constitution and the other, if any, on the method to draft it, according to Senate President Jaime Quintana. This second question will have to determine which organ will draft the future constitution, a mixed congress, an idea supported by the government coalition, composed equally of members elected for this purpose and of parliamentarians in office, or a constituent assembly composed entirely of members elected to this end. This second idea is supported by the opposition.

“It is a response of politics in the most noble sense of the term, the policy that thinks of Chile, which takes its destiny in hand and which assumes its responsibilities”, said at a morning press conference Jaime Quintana. Member of the Party for Democracy (center-left opposition), he spoke alongside other party leaders, except the Communist Party.

If the draft revision is validated by referendum, the election of the members of one or other of these bodies will be held in October 2020, by universal suffrage at the same time as the municipal and regional elections. Ratification of the new Constitution will be by universal suffrage, with compulsory voting for the occasion. The agreement took place in a Congress where no bloc has a two-thirds majority needed for a constitutional amendment.

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